20 November 2010

Apple Pie with Creme Fraiche and Black Pepper Recipe

Here is the recipe for the second dessert we will be serving for Thanksgiving. Although not really a traditional pie for the Thanksgiving table, ever since I introduced this more than twelve years ago, Apple Pie with Crème Fraîche and Black Pepper has become a tradition. I found that making this pie a few days before the "Big Event", enhances the flavors (not to mention cuts-down on the last minute preparations).
photo of finished apple pie

This pie also makes a great gift. Prepare as shown, but do not bake. Make a copy of the baking instructions and include that with the pie. I believe that the wonderful aroma of an apple pie baking is also a gift (boy, that sounds sappy, doesn't it?). Anyway, without any further ado, here's the recipe...

What you will need...

  • Pie Crusts... 2

  • Granny Smith Apples... 2 ½ lbs.

  • Sugar... about 3/4 cup plus 1tsp.

  • Fresh Lime Juice... 2 Tbsp

  • Salt... Pinch

  • Black Pepper... ¼ tsp. (freshly ground, if possible)

  • Flour... 4 Tbsp

  • Calvados or Brandy... ¼ Cup

  • Crème Fraîche... ½ cup click here for recipe

  • Milk... about 1 Tbsp

Putting it together...

  • Preheat oven to 425°F

  • Place 1 pie crust in pie pan

  • Peel, core, and cut the apples into ¼ inch slices (you may also cut them into cubes, if you like; I've done it both ways

  • Place them in a bowl and add 3/4 cup of sugar, lime juice, salt, pepper, and flour

  • Toss to coat the apples evenly

  • Test Calvados to make sure it is of the highest quality :)

  • Add the Calvados and the crème fraîche

  • Toss to mix well

  • Cover and let set at room temperature for 20 minutes

  • Taste the mixture and add sugar if necessary

  • Transfer mixture to the prepared pie pan and distribute evenly

  • Brush the edge of the dough with milk and place the second crust on top and seal

  • Trim any excess

  • Decoratively crimp the edge

  • Drop by and teach me how to decoratively crimp

  • Brush the top with remaining milk and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar

  • Cut 3 vents or use your imagination and make a design in the top of the crust

  • Place on a baking sheet and place in oven

  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375°F, and bake for an additional 55 minutes

  • Crust should be crisp and apples tender when pierced with a knife

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool 30 minutes

Recipe courtesy of Michael Kalanty of the California Culinary Academy


  1. nothing sappy about the scent of a freshly baked apple pie. that's a gift I'll take any day of the year. This one sounds good.

  2. Oh I love to smell an apple pie baking . I am taking this one with me too. I have never aded black pepper.

    Happy day Tim!

  3. Ann: It's a really good pie and one that also makes a great gift :)

    Shinade: Me too! It adds a very subtle taste to the pie. This pie is good hot, but personally, I prefer it cold w/ ice cream :)


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